#88 Chloë Thomas from eCommerce MasterPlan: 5 Trends to Follow if You Want to Win at E-Commerce

The Ecom Show

03-02-2022 • 34 mins

We’re very excited to welcome Chloë Thomas to our 88th episode of The Ecom Show. Chloë is a keynote speaker, bestselling author, and Founder of the award-winning eCommerce MasterPlan podcast.

Tune in to hear Chloë and our CEO and podcast host, Daniel Budai discuss:

✔️ How Did Chloë Begin in E-Commerce?

✔️ How Has E-Commerce Changed in 20 Years?

✔️ Trend #1: Zero-Party Data

✔️ Trend #2 Selling Where the Customer Wants to Buy

✔️ Trend #3 Why the Message Beats the Medium

✔️ Trend #4 Partnership Marketing

✔️ Trend #5 The Path to Net Zero

How Did Chloë Begin in E-Commerce?

Chloë’s e-commerce journey when she began working for a UK high street and catalog retailer. Specifically, optimizing their website and digital marketing.

Back in the early 2000s, Chloë led the e-commerce for a group of mail-order brands. Building their first website, implementing their email campaigns, setting up Google ads, etc. From there, Chloë created an online marketing agency that she ran for 10 years.

Now? She’s a globally recognized e-commerce thought leader.

“I am incredibly lucky to get to think, speak, and write, on the subject of e-commerce.”

How Has E-Commerce Changed Over the Last 20 Years?

Chloë has been in e-commerce for almost 20 years. So it’s safe to say that she’s seen a lot of changes!

The biggest change Chloë identifies is that the software has become more accessible. While the barriers to entry are lower, this has actually made things more difficult. E-commerce owners need to do a lot more to stand out from the competition.

“The successful people are the ones who work out what they should do and actually deliver on it. So in many ways, nothing’s changed. And in some ways, everything’s changed.”

This year, Chloë predicts that these 5 areas of change will guide the future of e-commerce.

  1. Zero Party Data
  2. Selling Were the Customer Wants to Buy
  3. Message Beats the Medium
  4. Partnership Marketing
  5. Embrace the Path to Net Zero

Trend 1: Zero-Party Data

Zero Party Data is data collected directly from the consumer. In other words, permission-based marketing. This is usually collected via shop quizzes or surveys. And Chloë is a big fan.

“It’s marketing done well. As a pure trained marketer, I love it when marketing is done properly.”

Chloë stipulates that zero-party data drives results for two key reasons:

  1. Personalization

Zero-party data allows e-commerce owners to send out more personalized, content-driven marketing that resonates with their customers.

  1. Engages the customers

Quizzes and surveys engage the customers. Neuromarketers have identified that if human beings feel like if they have had some input in the creation of something, they are more likely to back it. In the case of zero-party data, backing it is buying it.

Trend 2: Selling Where the Customer Wants to Buy

Chloë describes this trend as an amalgamation of several online shopping trends.Consumers are increasingly buying online. In games, on marketplaces, on social media, Messenger chats, WhatsApp. Consumers are making purchases from pretty much anywhere you can think of online.

This opens up a whole new world of processes. Understanding what it means to sell on TikTok, WhatsApp, or Pinterest, for example, requires a deep understanding of the platforms. Every one of these channels has its process that e-commerce owners need to learn about and integrate into their stores.

All these marketplaces open up or tap into a new customer niche. Vegan marketplaces are very popular, for example. Net-zero marketplaces are opening up. Recently, Chloë recorded a podcast episode with a company that’s creating a marketplace for disabled consumers. This is a huge untapped market for many online businesses.

Chloë’s advice for keeping up with this trend is to have a tech stack that enables you to adapt quickly. Make sure your product information is in a format that allows you to fire it out to different places quickly. Keep track of your inventory system. Have a marketing team that's ready to twist and pivot.

“The biggest lesson of 2020 was that if you had the right tech stack, life was a lot easier.”

Trend 3: Message Beats the Medium

In the world of the smart consumer, your marketing needs to be creative.

Chloë says that there’s a consumer desire for connection. They want to know the story behind the product that makes sense to them. To know that their decision to buy aligns with their morals. Secondly, there is huge competition. To stand out, you need to be engaging with the consumer and have great creative marketing across channels. Your marketing team needs analytical creative people who understand great copy and design.

Trend 4: Partnership Marketing

If creative marketing is not your strong suit, Chloë advises investing in partnership marketing.

In influencer marketing, the brand owns the right to use the creative marketing that their influencer creates.

Anything you can do with someone that your customers trust is very powerful. It enables your brand to get in front of a good audience and get someone else to create creative marketing.

Affiliate marketing harnesses partners who will promote your brand for a commission.

You can also turn your customers into advocates through a loyalty program or a customer referral incentive scheme. The start of the year, Chloë, advises, is the best time to do it.

Trend 5: Getting on the Path to Net Zero

Increasingly customers are pushing for sustainability, government pressure is on, and as Chloë puts it,

“Quite frankly, it’s the right thing to do for the planet.”

E-commerce industries still have a lot of work to do on the path to net-zero. It’s something to start talking about and get excited about. Evaluate the impact your e-commerce has on the environment and work on reducing waste and your carbon footprint as much as you can.

For even more fantastic advice on how to win at e-commerce this year, check out Chloë’s eCommerce Master Plan Podcast, her Keep Optimizing Marketing Podcast, visit chloethomas.com or follow Chloë on LinkedIn.

Thank you for listening! We come out with new episodes every Thursday, stay tuned!

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